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summer walking trip with children and dog

Amsterdam, The...
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summer walking trip with children and dog

I'm attempting to plan a last-minute (late July / early August) holiday focused on easy walks with my children (age range 4-13) and golden retriever. We'd like to do daily walks of 8km or less that aren't too strenuous, although I'm prepared to carry my 4 year old as necessary, leaving a 7 year old as the next-youngest.

I'm struggling to determine whether the dog will have to stay on a leash or whether he can walk free, which makes him 500x happier and willing to walk all day. I'm finding conflicting anecdotal info on-line. Some people say that all the dogs are off-leash. Others say that dogs must be on-leash at all times due to other wildlife and livestock and only irresponsible tourists take the leash off.

I don't care so much exactly which area we go to, as long as there are some restaurants in the area as I'd prefer not to cook. We probably wouldn't want to bring the dog to restaurants as he's a very hungry fellow without the best table manners. If he has one thoroughly good walk per day that's about all he needs and he can then be left at home.

So, for clarity's sake, I'd like to figure out if there are mountain areas in Switzerland where there are child-friendly walks where dogs can walk free. In towns and such we would always keep him on a leash, regardless.

Less-popular areas where we're more likely to still be able to find available accommodation would be a plus.

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Geneva, Switzerland
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1. Re: summer walking trip with children and dog

In principle dogs are supposed to be kept on a leash to protect livestock and wild animals. You may find people who will let their dogs off a leash, but ...

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2. Re: summer walking trip with children and dog

I don't know this area so well but many people walk dogs off leash in the mountains using basic common sense meaning:

- the dog needs to not distress other animals. If off leash and it starts barking at cows/horses etc, expect the owner to be upset. If the dog were to injure another animal, you could have major problems. Some city dogs may be seeing cows etc for the first time. So if the dog is obedient, and recalls well, I wouldn't worry. Put it on leash when walking past a farm.

- you need to pick up (obviously)

- observe any signs which specifically show the dog should be on leash

- you must pay for a child ticket for a dog on the train. That can get expensive!

In Valais, you will see happy dogs off leash all the time. Just use common sense and courtesy. Bear in mind that this is one of the areas where Swiss law is more strict that actual practice. Hence the problem you are finding in getting clear advice. There is a strong onus on you to know that it is safe for your dog to be off leash.

Edited: June 10, 2018, 10:26 pm
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